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The Great Controversy, by Ellen G. White, [1858], at



The Third Message Closed


I was pointed down to the time when the third angel's message was closing.  The power of God had rested upon his people.  They had accomplished their work, and were prepared for the trying hour before them.  They had received the latter rain, or refreshing from the presence of the Lord, and the living testimony had been revived.  The last great warning had sounded everywhere, and it had stirred up and enraged the inhabitants of earth, who would not receive the message.

I saw angels hurrying to and fro in heaven.  An angel returned from the earth with a writer's ink-horn by his side, and reported to Jesus that his work was done, that the saints were numbered and sealed.  Then I saw Jesus, who had been ministering before the ark containing the ten commandments, throw down the censer.  He raised his hands upward, and with a loud voice said, It is done.  And all the angelic host laid off their crowns as Jesus made the solemn declaration, He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

I saw that every case was then decided for life or death. Jesus had blotted out the sins of his people.  He had received his kingdom, and the atonement had been made for the subjects of his kingdom.  While Jesus had been ministering in the Sanctuary, the judgment had been going on for the righteous dead, and then for the righteous living.  The subjects of the kingdom were made up.  The marriage of the Lamb was finished.  And the kingdom, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, was given to Jesus, and the heirs of salvation, and Jesus was to reign as King of kings, and Lord of lords.

As Jesus moved out of the Most Holy place, I heard the tinkling of the bells upon his garment, and as he left, a cloud of darkness covered the inhabitants of the earth.  There was then no mediator between guilty man, and an offended God.  While Jesus had been standing between God and guilty man, a restraint was upon the people; but when Jesus stepped out from between man and the Father, the restraint was removed, and Satan had the control of man.  It was impossible for the plagues to be poured out while Jesus officiated in the Sanctuary; but as his work there is finished, as his intercession closes, there is nothing to stay the wrath of God, and it breaks with fury upon the shelterless head of the guilty sinner, who has slighted salvation, and hated reproof.  The saints in that fearful time, after the close of Jesus' mediation, were living in the sight of a holy God, without an intercessor.  Every case was decided, every jewel numbered.  Jesus tarried a moment in the outer apartment of the heavenly Sanctuary, and the sins which had been confessed while he was in the Most Holy place, he placed back upon the originator of sin, the Devil.  He must suffer the punishment of these sins.

Then I saw Jesus lay off his priestly attire, and clothe himself with his most kingly robes -- upon his head were many crowns, a crown within a crown -- and surrounded by the angelic host, he left heaven.  The plagues were falling upon the inhabitants of the earth.  Some were denouncing God, and cursing him.  Others rushed to the people of God, and begged to be taught how they should escape the judgments of God.  But the saints had nothing for them.  The last tear for sinners had been shed, the last agonizing prayer offered, the last burden had been borne.  The sweet voice of mercy was no more to invite them.  The last note of warning had been given.  When the saints, and all heaven were interested for their salvation, they had no interest for themselves.  Life and death had been set before them.  Many desired life; but did not make any effort to obtain it.  They did not choose life, and now there was no atoning blood to cleanse the sinner.  No compassionate Saviour to plead for them, and cry, Spare, spare the sinner a little longer.  All heaven had united with Jesus, as they heard the fearful words, It is done, It is finished.  The plan of salvation had been accomplished.  But few had chosen to accept the plan.  And as mercy's sweet voice died away, a fearfulness and horror seized them.  With terrible distinctness they hear, Too late! too late!

Those who had not prized God's word were hurrying to and fro.  They wandered from sea to sea, and from the north to the east, to seek the word of the Lord.  Said the angel, They shall not find it.  There is a famine in the land; not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.  What would they not give for one word of approval from God? but no, they must hunger and thirst on.  Day after day have they slighted salvation, and prized earthly pleasure, and earthly riches, higher than any heavenly inducement and treasure.  They have rejected Jesus, and despised his saints.  The filthy must remain filthy forever.

A great portion of the wicked were greatly enraged, as they suffered the effects of the plagues.  It was a scene of fearful agony.  Parents were bitterly reproaching their children, and children reproaching their parents, brothers their sisters, and sisters their brothers.  Loud wailing cries were heard in every direction, It was you who kept me from receiving the truth, which would have saved me from this awful hour.  The people turned upon the ministers with bitter hate, and reproached them, telling them, You have not warned us.  You told us all the world was to be converted, and cried, Peace, peace, to quiet every fear that was aroused.  You have not told us of this hour, and those who warned us of it you said were fanatics, and evil men, who would ruin us. But the ministers, I saw, did not escape the wrath of God.  Their sufferings were ten-fold greater than their people's.


See Ezekiel 9:2-11; Daniel 7:27; Hosea 6:3; Amos 8:11-13; Revelation chap. 16, 17:14


Next: Chapter 36. The Time of Jacob's Trouble